BD 10th corrupt country: TIB

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Staff Reporter :
Bangladesh has been ranked 10th lowest among 180 countries, scoring a mere 24 out of 100 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)-2023, Transparency International (TI) report said on Tuesday.

Bangladesh has performed lower than the average level for countries ruled by the “worst regime types” as per the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) classification and “worst electoral democracy” type as per Freedom House (FH) classification.

Notably, the score is two points lower than the trend observed from 2012 to 2023 and one point lower than the previous year.
Meanwhile, continuing disappointments persist on a global scale as no country has achieved a perfect score (100) in addressing public sector corruption, marking little to no progress since 2012. Denmark stands out with the highest score of 80, while Somalia lags far behind at only 11.

The report, unveiled by Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman at TIB office in the capital, highlighted the lack of strategic initiatives to translate the rhetoric of zero tolerance against corruption into tangible actions.

Among the contributing factors to this disappointing performance, TI pointed to the rampant corruption within the public sector, particularly in public contracting and project implementation.

The report also expressed concern over the lack of effective action against instances of money laundering, indicating a critical oversight in financial governance.

The judicial process received mixed signals, with calls for action contradicted by a lack of concrete measures.
TI observed a worrisome influence of politics and bureaucracy on state institutions mandated to control corruption, including the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

This influence, the report suggests, plays a pivotal role in protecting and promoting corruption, especially among the powerful.
Despite socio-economic development, the citizens of Bangladesh are reportedly not reaping the full benefits due to the pervasive corruption and the perceived weaknesses of the country’s anti-corruption watchdogs.

Key findings reveal that Bangladesh’s 2023 score is the lowest since 2012, highlighting a concerning regression over the past decade.
Moreover, it is two points lower than scores recorded in 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018, with a notable four-point difference from the highest score of 28 achieved in 2017.

Bangladesh’s global rank has also slipped to 149th among 180 countries, down two positions from 2022. The overall performance is deemed disappointing, placing Bangladesh among the 122 countries facing a ‘serious corruption problem,’ with a score 19 points below the global average of 43.

The country falls into the category of ‘very serious corruption problem,’ joining 105 nations scoring below the global average.
In comparison with its regional peers, Bangladesh ranks as the 2nd lowest among eight South Asian countries, surpassing only Afghanistan (20), which scored 20 and ranked 162nd.

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Bhutan scored 68, India and Maldives 39, Nepal 35, Sri Lanka 34 and Pakistan 29. Bangladesh’s score is notably 21 points lower than the Asia-Pacific regional average of 45, and it lags behind other regions, including the lowest-performing Sub-Saharan Africa with a score of 33.

Under the regime type category, Bangladesh average score (24), according to the EIU, falls behind full democracies (average score 73), flawed democracies (average score 48), hybrid democracies (average score 36), and even authoritarian regimes (average score 29).

The global findings reveal that a significant majority of nations, 122 out of 180 (67.77%), grapple with a “serious corruption problem,” scoring below 50. Moreover, 105 countries (58.33%) fall below the global average of 43, indicating a “very serious corruption problem” that affects over 80 percent of the world’s population.

Disturbingly, the overall global scores have worsened compared to 2022, with 63 countries witnessing a decline, 62 maintaining the same score, and only 55 showing improvement.

Even traditionally high-scoring nations have experienced setbacks, including New Zealand, Iceland, and the UK, all dropping by 2 points, as well as Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, and France, which decreased by 1 point.

Analysing a 12-year trend from 2012 to 2023, 87 countries witnessed a decline, while 80 showed improvement, and 7 remained unchanged, with comparable data unavailable for 6.

Among the notable high-scoring countries facing setbacks, Australia and Iceland both declined by 10 points, Canada by 8, Sweden by 6, and Netherlands by 5.

Additionally, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United States, and the UK all experienced declines, ranging from 3 to 5 points, contributing to the overall global trend of increased corruption challenges.

In reply to a question, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “The continuous rejection of the corruption perceptions index, an internationally recognised standard method, by the government is nothing but political rhetoric.”

The report underscores the apparent disparity between political promises and concrete actions, as political parties consistently highlight their commitment to curb corruption in their election manifestos but allegedly fail to honor their pledges.

Among other factors, TI found political and government positions treated as a license for abuse of power; policy capture for abuse of lobby power especially in the banking sector; sustained control and intimidation of media and civil society; surveillance, intolerance and reprisal of disclosure and reporting on corruption.

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